Title: Oral History Interview with Bernice Cavenaugh and Betsy Easter, December 8, 1999. Interview K-0279.
Interviewer: Thompson, Charles
Interviewee: Easter, Betsy
Subjects: Duplin County (N.C.) Hurricane Floyd, 1999 Floods--North Carolina Disaster relief--North Carolina
Abstract: In this interview, Bernice Cavenaugh and her daughter, Betsy Easter, describe enduring Hurricane Floyd's flooding and its aftermath. They tell a story of fear, confusion, and frustration that reveals a lack of preparation, disorganized and inequitable government compensation, and significant challenges to community bonds. Cavenaugh and Easter evacuated late, having heard nothing about the flooding until it was at their doorsteps, and their efforts at relief proceeded with little help from equally overwhelmed neighbors, who, according to Easter, are generally unhelpful anyway. Government help arrived in the form of inadequate and limiting loans from government agencies and Marines who completely cleared out Cavenaugh's house, despite her desire to salvage some property. The two plan to be better prepared next time and to clean up without help. This interview offers useful insight into community dynamics and flood preparation and paints a vivid picture of the bureaucratic confusion that followed the confusion of the flooding itself.